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How to Add, Remove & Recover a Volume in APFS Container

Vishal  | Updated on February 8, 2021 | Mac data recovery   | No Comments   | 3 min read

Summary: In this blog, we’ll share the step-by-step method to add and remove a volume with regard to an APFS container.

And if in case you accidentally delete a volume, don’t worry, we’ll share an easy method based on using a DIY software to recover the lost volume and the data stored on it.

So, before you begin with the methods for adding and removing a volume in APFS, download the free trial version of Mac data recovery software & have it with you just in case. Try it for free.

How to Add, Remove & Recover a Volume in APFS Container

macOS that supports APFS file system viz. Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina and Big Sur has an excellent feature to add new volumes to an existing APFS container. Unlike partitions, volumes inside an APFS container share free space among themselves, and the storage is allotted on demand. 

You can deploy the newly added APFS volumes to install different APFS-compatible macOS versions. For instance, you can install the beta version of macOS Big Sur or Catalina on an APFS volume. Plus, if you need, you can easily remove the added volume from its container.

Add APFS Volume in Macintosh HD

You can use Disk Utility to add a new volume to an APFS container. Using the (+) volume icon is not the same as using the Partition tab present on the top panel of Disk Utility. This is because partition creates a fixed size volume that can’t grow or shrink unless you re-partition the drive.

Read more: How to Partition macOS Mojave Start-up Disk without Data Loss.

To add APFS volume in an APFS container, perform the following steps:

Step 1: Press Command + Space Bar and type ‘disk utility’ then click Disk Utility to launch it.

Step 2: On Disk Utility, select an APFS container (say Macintosh HD) from the left panel.

Step 3: From the top panel, click the plus (+) icon to add volume to the selected container.

Add Volume

Step 4: On the “Add APFS volume to container” dialog box, type the name of the volume. Let the default APFS format be opted, or change it as per need.

Add Volume in Container

Step 5: To set the storage size, click the “Size Options…” and specify “Reserve Size” and “Quota Size.” Use Reserve Size to set the minimum storage space for the new volume. Likewise, use Quota Size to set the maximum storage capacity for the same.

Step 6: Click the Add button to add the new volume to the selected APFS container.

APFS volume in Container Added

Remove APFS Volume from Macintosh HD

When you don’t need an APFS volume, you can use the (-) volume icon present on the top panel of Disk Utility to delete the volume. This operation will remove the volume and all its stored data. So if the volume has essential files, you must back them up to avoid data loss.

To remove or delete APFS volume, perform the following steps:

Step 1: Open Disk Utility then select the volume that you wish to delete from the left panel.

Step 2: From the top panel, click the minus () icon to remove volume from its associated container.

Remove APFS Volume in Container

Step 3: Confirm when prompted to remove the volume from the container.

Recover Deleted APFS Volume’s Data

You may delete an APFS volume accidentally, which results in data loss, and you can’t undo it. Don’t worry; use the following recommended method to recover your deleted APFS volume and its stored content.

To recover a deleted APFS volume, watch the below video tutorial steps:

1: But first, download and install the *trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac on your MacBook Air, iMac, Mac mini, or their pro version (whichever you own).

2: Launch the software from the installed location.

For further steps, watch the self-explanatory video

Note: *Trial version of the Stellar Data Recovery software allows you to scan and preview. But to save the recoverable data present on the volume, you need to activate the software.


This blog shared the precise method to add a new volume in APFS container, remove a volume, and recover accidentally deleted volume. You can easily add or remove volume by using Disk Utility. But, for recovering deleted or lost volume, you would need to try out the trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac.

By using the mentioned Mac data recovery software, you can search the storage drive for lost volume. Once the volume is located, scan it to get a complete list of items that can be recovered from the volume. When satisfied with the result, activate the software to get back all the data present on the volume.

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